Tom Grazio has nearly forty years in child protection, including seven years as director of Child Welfare Services for the state of Maryland. During the emergence of child advocacy centers, multidisciplinary teams, and victim-focused services, Mr. Grazio held key positions in the field, including program manager for the Navy/Marine Corps Family Advocacy Program at the Pentagon, clinician and trainer on child abuse at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and founder of the Navy Family Service Center at the Philadelphia Naval Base. Mr. Grazio joined The Tree House in February 2012.
When asked why he decided to work at The Tree House he replied, "Because I couldn't get a job pitching for the Phillies."
Evelyn Shukat, MD, FAAP, Medical Director
Dr. Shukat is a board-certified child abuse pediatrician who has been providing medical services to abused children for 35 years. Before coming to The Tree House, she established and directed a child advocacy center (CAC) at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in New York City and maintained that post for 10 years. She also directed Pediatric Emergency Services at Metropolitan Hospital, worked as medical director of The Children’s House of Hackensack University Medical Center, and was assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cornell College of Medicine. Since 2007, Dr. Shukat has served as The Tree House’s medical director. She is passionate about the CAC model: whether she is conducting exams or just speaking with children, Dr. Shukat always establishes safe, trusting environments for our clients. She approaches child health in a holistic manner, addressing all medical concerns, regardless of cause.
When asked why she decided to work at The Tree House she replied, "So I can keep shopping at Zulily."
Stephanie Wolf, JD, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Mental Health Director
Dr. Stephanie Wolf is a licensed psychologist who earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her internship at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center with rotations in the pediatric acute psychiatric unit, pediatric emergency room, cranio-facial clinic, pediatric general floor and pediatric intensive care unit. During her doctoral training, Dr. Wolf gained extensive therapy and assessment experience with her practicum placements at the Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger Family Center, working with children who experienced trauma, and at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center, working with adolescent female offenders. Additionally, Dr. Wolf holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in both Maryland and Washington DC.
When asked why she decided to work at The Tree House she replied, "I wanted to be able to help children and families in a profound way and the circus was not hiring."
Sara Kulow-Malavé, LCSW-C, Forensic Interviewer
Ms. Kulow-Malavé has eleven years of experience working in childprotective services for Montgomery County, MD, most recently as the forensic interviewer for The Tree House. She also supervises visitation between children and non-custodial parents part time. Earlier in her career, Ms. Kulow-Malavé was a social worker in nursing homes, and as of today, she has completed more than 80 hours of forensic training and has testified in numerous court cases as an expert on risk assessment and children’s safety. Ms. Kulow-Malavé earned her undergraduate degree in Social Work from McDaniel College and her graduate degree in the same field from The University of Maryland Baltimore. She came to The Tree House in 2013, where she conducts compassionate forensic interviews of suspected child victims and their non-offending family members.
When asked why she decided to work at The Tree House she replied, "Who wouldn't want to work in a tree house! I always wanted one as a kid!
I decided to apply to work here because my favorite part of being a social worker in child welfare, where I worked for 10 years prior to coming here, was interviewing children. The child's point of view in a family can be overlooked, yet it is often the most honest one. When the opportunity arose to apply for the Forensic Interview position I jumped on it! I love being part of an organization created to offer children (some of our most vulnerable members of society) who have been abused and neglected a safe and neutral space to talk about what has happened to them and begin to heal."
Lorena Guido, BA (SPEMAJ in law), Victim Advocate
Ms. Guido is an attorney of law and legal science from El Salvador. Between 1992 and 2006, she worked her way up from court clerk to general administrator at the Supreme Court of El Salvador, then moved to the country’s District Court as a substitute judge. In 2008, Ms. Guido came to the United States. For the following five years, she provided a variety of advocacy and assistance services as a volunteer, including assisting low-income clients apply for immigration to the United States and helping sexual assault victims access services and navigate the criminal justice system. Ms. Guido earned her bachelor’s degree equivalency in 2011 and joined The Tree House’s staff in 2013. She provides our clients with broad-spectrum victim advocacy and support.
Alison Kramer-Kuhn, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
Alison grew up on Long Island, New York, and attended James Madison University for her undergraduate degree. While earning a Masters in Forensic Psychology, she worked in a non-profit setting with men, women, and youth returning home from incarceration. Alison earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a specialization in child and adolescent psychology. Before joining the Tree House, Alison provided trauma-focused therapy and assessments at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters Child Abuse Program, a Child Advocacy Center serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is experienced in outpatient, acute inpatient, and consultation and liaison services, but her clinical focus is on assessing and treating children and families with histories of child maltreatment. Her research interests include the prevention of behavior problems and the promotion of social and emotional competencies in children, with emphases on violence prevention and trauma.
When we asked Alison why she decided to work at The Tree House, this is what she said:
When I tell people what I do, I often hear things like, "Oh, that must be so sad!" and "These kids will probably need to be in therapy forever!" I'm always happy to say that the fact is, we have very effective treatments for traumatic stress. This makes my work as a clinician extremely rewarding, and is one of the reasons I decided to come to work at the Tree House. I am happy that my job also includes supervising clinical psychology trainees, as I enjoy teaching and believe it is critical for more mental health practitioners to be trained in evidence-based trauma treatments. Last, but not least, I see a great potential for the Tree House to advance the field of child advocacy through research and program development. Our field has come a long way, but still has far to go!
Andrea Coleman, BSN, RN, Nurse
Andrea Coleman earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati in 1997. Since relocating to Maryland in 1999, she has devoted her career to caring for underserved populations. The last 16 years of Andrea's professional career have been spent working for the Montgomery County Government with 8 years at the Dept of Correction and Rehab, 6 years at Child Welfare Services, and 2 years a dual role of Child Welfare Nurse and Tree House Nurse. While assisting with medical exams on this patient population is challenging work, she finds the experience to be both rewarding and fulfilling as she focuses her energies toward helping to improve the lives of children who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or assault.
When we asked Andrea why she decided to work at The Tree House, this is what she said:
It all started as a mandated transfer, but it has turned out to be a most rewarding experience. One could not ask for a more cohesive and caring team of individuals with which to spend the work week. And the children...they are the gems that make every difficult day, every traumatic story, every hardship faced seem small in the light of their smiles. If they can muster the courage to smile, despite all that they have faced in their short lives, surely I can continue to find the strength to inspire hope. Onward to the better and brighter days ahead! #Healing
We'll introduce you to the rest of the staff as their photos come in...